Differential Equations Math 307 Spring 2005 MWF, 10:50--11:50 Copley 244

 Instructor: Richard Hammack Office hours: Office: 238 Copley Monday, 9:45--10:45 Work: 752-7210 (and voice mail) Wednesday, 9:45--10:45; 1:30 -- 2:30 Home: 353-8572 (before 9:30 p.m., please) Friday, 9:45--10:45 Fax: 752-4724 and by appointment E-mail: rhammack@rmc.edu http://faculty.rmc.edu/rhammack/

Text: A First Course in Differential Equations, by Dennis Zill, Classic Fifth Edition
Prerequisite: Math 132 or 142

When you studied algebra, you dealt with equations that contained an unknown quantitiy, or variable. Solving an equation meant finding numeric values for the variable that made the equation true. In this class, you will also solve equations, but there is a big difference. The unknowns are functions, not numbers. A differential equation is an equation that contains derivatives of an unknown function, and solving it means finding functions that make it true. Differential equations occur with great frequency in nearly every branch of science, especially physics and engineering.

You are expected to read the text actively and thoroughly, and to test your understanding by working problems. I will maintain a Homework Exercise List. This consists of odd-numbered problems that have answers in the back of the book. Even though I will not grade these problems, it is absolutely essential that you work as many of them as possible (including some even numbered ones), for doing them is the key to your understanding the course material. You are free to give me your solutions, and I will check them for accuracy.

Your grade is determined by quizzes, three tests, participation, homework and a final exam. Details follow.

Quizzes: Short (10 to 15 minute) closed-book quizzes are given on a weekly basis. Quizzes are announced at least a week in advance. Most problems will be similar to those from the Homework Problem List, though occasionally I will throw in a new type of problem whose solution demands some creative thought.

Tests: There are three closed-book hour-long tests, scheduled roughly every 3 weeks. The tests are written under the assumption that you are studying the material at least 6 hours per week outside of class. Calculators are not used on the tests.

Participation: Participation means that you in some way demonstrate intellectual involvement in the course. It does not necessarily mean that you ask questions and volunteer answers. Active participation may include your working lots of homework problems, taking advantage of office hours, and displaying preparedness, dedication and intellectual curiosity.

Graded Homework: I will assign graded homework problems to be due 1 to 3 days per week. You should be prepared to turn these solutions in to me on the appointed days. However, on some days, instead of collecting the papers, I will call randomly on several students to present some of their solutions on the board. I will maintain a Graded Homework List where you will find the latest assignments.

Final Exam: The final exam is comprehensiv. It is scheduled for Monday, May 16, 8:30-11:30, in Copley 244. Please remember that a make-up final can be given only with the consent of the Dean of the College.

Make-up Tests and Quizzes: I will drop your lowest test grade and several of your lowest quiz and homework grades. If you miss a test or a quiz, that is one of the grades that will be dropped. As was noted above, a make-up final can be given only with the consent of the Dean's office.

Grading:
The 10-point grading scale is used:
 A: 90-100 B: 80-89 C: 70-79 D: 60-69 F: 0-59
Your final average is computed as follows:
 Quizzes: 25% Highest 2 test grades: 40% Homework 5% Participation: 5% Final Exam: 25%

Attendance: I do not take attendance, but I do notice if you are not attending class. If your grades are high, I do not mind if you miss class occasionally. However, if your grades are low and you miss a lot of class, I will notify your advisor and the Dean of Students. Excessive absences can result in a lower participation score. As a matter of courtesy, you should arrive punctually and stay for the entire duration of each class you attend. Please inform me ahead of time if you must leave early.

It is especially important to attend class the day after a test has been given, for important new information is usually introduced then. I reserve the right to deduct a one- or two-point service charge on each test that, due to an unexcused absence, is not claimed on the day of class after the test is given.

Cell Phones: Please be sure that all cell phones and pagers are turned off for the entire duration of each class.

Calculators: Although calculators are not used on tests and quizzes, they are occassionally useful (though not essential) for verifying homework answers or for personal exploration of course ideas.
Your calculator should have buttions for ln(x), ex, cos-1 (or arccos), sin-1 (or arcsin), and tan-1 (or arctan).

Internet: Information about this course is posted on the Internet. To find it, go to my home page (http://faculty.rmc.edu/rhammack/) and click on "Math 307." There you will find the syllabus, homework exercise list, a course calendar, grades, copies of old tests and quizzes, and other announcements. I also post solutions to the quizzes and tests.

Office: Please feel free to stop by my office whenever you have a question, or if you just want to chat. You are welcome to come by any time that I am there, even outside of posted office hours. I will also be happy to schedule an appointment.

Tell me if you are having trouble. Catching up can be very difficult once you get behind, so let me know as soon as you think there is a problem.

Notice: The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and other federal laws require Randolph-Macon College to provide a "reasonable accommodation" to any individual who advises us of a physical, psychological, or learning disability. If you have a physical, psychological, or learning disability that requires an accommodation, you must first register with the Office for Disability Support Services, located in the Higgins Academic Center.